Saturday, January 01, 2005

5 CAD Resolutions

I've been thinking this weekend about what type of resolutions CAD Managers make. Some are just the generic "I'll eat better and exercise more" type of empty promises. In CAD terms you might say "I'll design faster and read more." In management terms you may "increase revenue and lower expenses." But let's consider some specific areas where resolutions are needed. In quality improvement these would be considered "low hanging fruit" where achievements can be quickly realized.

1. Go Home
Co-workers can be great friends and I know you have the perfect boss, but get some perspective in your life. Oh, wait, you don't have a life. And you won't get one at work either. Go home and spend time with people who care about you regardless of where you work. Your family vaguely remembers wanting to have you around. Remind them how great it is to have you around by being there.

If necessary, give yourself a curfew. Make it rigid and make it flexible where it needs to be. For example, on Mondays you have to work late to solve all the challenges that occurred because people lost too many brain cells over the weekend and on Friday you have to work late because there is always a project that has to go out on Friday afternoon; so on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays you resolve to stop "work" at five, go through your email, plan out your next day, and leave by six.

Tell your family I said "hi."

2. Say "Thank You"
Is it possible to say "Thank You" too much? I don't know the rules of etiquette on saying thank you, but I don't personally know anyone who has said it too much. People add to the experience of your life every day. You should thank them for adding to that experience, because good or bad, their input can make you a better person depending on how you respond to it.

It really is surprising how awkward we feel when we are out of practice saying thank you. Practice these phrases:
"Thank you for telling me about that."
"Thank you for bringing that to my attention."
"Thank you for your time."
"Thank you for calling me back."
"Thank you for coming by."

And thank you for reading my blog.

3. Think Like a Manager
What does that mean? Most CAD Managers I have met are neither trained nor experienced as managers. You need to begin thinking the way managers think. Think cost and benefit. Think long term. Think continuous improvement. Think win-win negotiation. Think profits. Think profits. Think profits.

Now, make it a specific resolution by resolving to read fifteen minutes a day from a management book that deals with your particular needs as a manager. Don't know what your needs are? Ask your HR manager. Ask your boss. And remember, I said a management book, not a tech book.

4. Feel Like a User
Even with all the new management thinking in your head, you will still have a tendency to combat challenges with your arsenal of tech experience. But remember that most of those challenges have a human element. Look at the challenge from the user's perspective. Challenges are personal and can be intensely emotional to the person being challenged. Present solutions that edify the person.

If you need some help in this area, read "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

5. Write Down Your Goals
Whatever resolutions you make - write them down. Read them often. Measure your progress. Celebrate your success. If you write your goals you remember them better. If you write your goals you reinforce them by reading them. If you write your goals you know if you are achieving them. If you write your goals you know what you will accomplish and have accomplished.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Resolution: to keep my desk clean. Too often the important but non-urgent things I need to be working on are lost under the "piling system" that is my desk top.

BTW, Thank you for your suggestions. ;o)